Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 108 - Namaste

So here I am, on the other side of the Ultimate Yogi, all 108 days complete.  Let's reflect first on the juice feast and lessons learned:

Juice Feast
  1. Just because I lived off of V8 for 5 days when I was 19 doesn't mean that I can do it for 3 in my 30s.
  2. Smoothies taste delicious when all you've had is V8 and water (see #1)
  3. Soy Milk does not count as juice and there is no such thing as Beef Juice (even the drippings from your burger???!!!)
  4. Hunger comes and goes in spurts and gets easier day after day.
  5. Eating nothing for 3 days is actually easier than eating raw fruits and vegetables for 3 days - at least for me.
  6. On the third day I was seriously "hangry".
So with that done, I was ready to tackle my 108 Sun Salutation final challenge: 

108 Sun Salutations
  1. As with most of the program it is really hard to focus for 108 straight repetitions.
  2. I am still a perv - albeit a more enlightened perv.
  3. There is no such thing as the Ultimate Yogi or at least I will never be it.  However, I will be more centered, happier, supplement free, stronger, more flexible, more enlivened and more appreciative than I have ever been before.
  4. The middle 36 were probably the hardest because you are tired and you don't yet see the light at the end of the tunnel.
For those of you wondering about my prophecy on Day 2 - yes there were tears at the end.  I honestly don't know what came over me - whether it was hunger, sadness, fatigue, happiness, joy, pride, wussiness or a blend of all of the above, but tears were definitely involved.

So a number of you spambots may be wondering what is next?  Well more yoga of course.  This journey helped me realize that weight training is not for me anymore, at least for now (never say never).  I purchased Yoga Warrior 365 and after taking this weekend to get some perspective (read: get really drunk) I started the program today.  I can already tell it is slower paced and not as intense as the Ultimate Yogi, but that is a good thing too.  Perhaps the longer held poses will allow me to focus and work on testing my edges.

I have no current plans to post on that journey, but I encourage you all to check back once in a while as who knows when the spirit may move me.

I'll leave you in true corporate fashion with some key metrics about my journey:
  1. Days of Yoga: 108 (+1 @ Corporate HQ)
  2. Days to complete the journey: 116
  3. Days with sufficiently focused meditation: 0
  4. Days of Crazy Diets: 9
  5. Pounds lost on the program: 13
  6. Cumulative Pounds lost since re-finding Yoga in Jan 2013: 31
  7. Tears Shed: Too many
  8. Yogi Style Pushups: Too many

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 99 - Life is good

Can't believe I'm almost there.  It has been an incredible journey.  As Travis promised, I am finishing happier, healthier, fitter and more flexible than I have ever been.  I can't believe that after 10 years I am finally off the bodybuilding supplements and not feeling cruddy, not feeling sad, not feeling like I need them for focus, not feeling I need them for athletic performance.  I forgot what it felt like to feel so great so naturally.  I forgot how good you can feel just by taking a breath.

And guess what?

I'm even baking in 10-15 minutes daily for meditation and realizing that it really fuels and energizes me throughout the day.

My wife is so annoyed with me because I'm stopping to observe the trees, flowers, birds, really all the things that I normally would not care to notice.

I've also been taking a class through Coursera on Buddhism and Modern Psychology as well as reading some great books.  I highly recommend the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga by Deepak Chopra for anyone who wants to explore the more spiritual side of yoga.  I keep them as calendar invites for myself now so I have some wisdom to guide me through each day.

I'm actually looking forward to the juice feast even though I know it will be a challenge.

Of course I still have my weaknesses.  I still get upset, sad, angry, pervy, bored, etc. just like anyone else, but I am better able to accept those things and better able to either control them or revert to a happier norm.

Grateful for this journey and now just wondering what I do once I complete the 108 days.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 79 - Surprise!

Betcha all thought I wouldn't be posting anymore, but I couldn't leave you hanging without telling you how the second detox went.

You might all remember the lessons learned from veganism post.   I have only one lesson learned from a raw diet: I never want to do that again.

Just kidding.  Well half.

The diet was really challenging and not so fun.  I found that eating raw trail mix, while filling, was not so satisfying after the first couple of cups...I also found that eating fruit, lettuce and nuts did not make for a very palate satisfying foodie adventure.

So I was ready to completely write it off as a terrible idea but then I noticed a few things happening:

  1. I lost nearly 5 lbs - no joke - and this was after I was certain I had plateaud.  I've since put back on 2.5, but the other 2.5 seems to be stubbornly staying off.  My favorite kind of stubborn.
  2. I noticed numerous other positive health impacts (but I will spare you the details).
  3. I had increased energy and less stress.

Still don't want to do it again, but it is a terrific reminder to eat leanly and that our body reacts so well to what we put into it.  It is almost a Karmic reaction and not surprising given that we are composed primarily of what we eat.

This was solidified by the next day where I ate a whole lot of junk and found myself feeling like junk - lethargic, more sullen, heavy and unmotivated.

My natural motivation is finally starting to come back to me and for the first time ever I don't feel like I need to get back on the supplements.  I still have bad days, but the trend is upwards.  I can do this naturally, not because I have to, not because it is "better", but simply because I want to.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Days 55-58 - In my own time

I was going to stop this blog altogether.  Reason being that I realized I was putting pressure on myself to keep it updated and that was counterintuitive to what I have been trying to accomplish here. I've been trying to convince myself to take life more easily.  Not to create arbitrary goals and work for myself.  Not to have the stress.

So I was going to say sayonara when I realized I was doing it again even when I was trying not to do it again.

I need to be better at letting go.  I need to accept that sometimes "giving up" is really the right choice, no matter how hard it might be for me.

But that also shouldn't come at the cost of a good thing - an outlet for me and hopefully others.  A chronicle of an important journey and a chance for me to pen thoughts in real time.

So I am going to give up on daily updates.  (I arguably did weeks ago!)
I'm going to give up on feeling like I have to post and only post because I want to post.
I am going to give up on caring so much about consistency and just say what I wish to say and only if I wish to say it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 54 - A gentle touch

I've had this weird tingling in my right arm the last couple of days.  Not sure what it is and hoping it is not carpel tunnel.  Can't seem to catch a break! But other than that today's gentle yoga was just what the doctor ordered to give me the energy and the strength to effectively plow through my day.  It was a challenging day, but an interesting one as I learned more about my career and my future.  I am grateful to have some great colleagues who will help see me through this and give me good advice.

Anyway not much to add today so I better get to my meditation before I find more reasons to delay it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Days 51, 52 and 53 - I owe updates

Wow a 3 for 1.  Here is me trying to convince you that my laziness in not updating this blog is actually a good deal for you because it gets you more efficiency in the post.

So what have I discovered over the last 3 days?

1) Hippie Chick is present and looks amazing in more workouts than I realized.  I think I've developed my first vegan crush.
2) I am the kind of person that assumes that the hippie looking girl in the yoga program is a vegan and indeed the only vegan.
3) The other ladies are still pretty hot and distracting.  Particularly given the skimpy attire they wear.  Meredith is super buxom in the balance workout and Lauren looks like a ballerina when scissoring in the flexibility workout.  Sigh...

I'll stop there because things always work better in threes.

But I couldn't possibly justify that alone as an update soooooo...this is a perfect time to talk about meditation.

I'm still failing to meditate on most days, but I found a great app called Headspace that gives you the first 10 days free.  There is a lot of haterade in the reviews about how it is advertised as free, but really isn't.  I don't think it is advertised as free and honestly find it strange that anyone in this day and age is indignant about in-app purchases or a subscription model.

At any rate, the free 10 days are 10 minutes (really 11) a piece.  Although I've found it relaxing and helpful, it is pretty much the same thing every day and I just finished Day 6 so I don't know if it is worth plunking the extra cash down later.  That said the other segments are supposed to be different, but it is hard to tell for sure without seeing what they are like.  Perhaps a better business model would be to do a sampling of segments for the free trial, but what do I know.  I still haven't launched a business.

I'm also reading this terrific book called the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.  Still not sure whether I will be able to really modify bad habits, but it sure helps to understand them.  I actually have been working on some bad habits with some good progress so please keep your fingers crossed for my continued success.

Ok - low battery warning - better finish up.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Days 49 and 50 - An Ode to Hippie Chick

So there is one lady in the group I haven't discussed, but shame on me for ignoring her just because of her hippie headband and vegan crunchy granola attire.  There is a beautiful lady and wonderful yogi who doesn't get nearly as much attention from the camera as she deserves.  Sure she is not as busty as Meredith, leggy as Lauren or toned as Patty.  But overall she has the total beautiful yogi package.  She is pretty, diligent, flexible, toned and dare I say it without knowing anything about her - humble.  I know so little I haven't even found out her name like the rest.  Nevertheless, there she is in most of the workouts, quietly unassumingly being such an asset to the program.

Sadly the best pic I could find of her on the interweb...(based on a 30 sec web search)...


That's her on the right in front of Travis.  Look how deep her warrior one goes! I know it's not a competition, but she is kind of putting the incredibly hot Lauren to shame in this pic.

Go hippie chick! (Scar chest is also lunging pretty deeply!)